par Gus Iversen
, Editor in Chief | November 13, 2018
Coon Memorial Hospital was offering imaging services for its patients in the Dalhart, Texas area with a mobile MR unit that was on-site only one or two days a week. The rural care provider decided that upgrading to a fixed unit was in the best interests of their patients, as well as the facility's bottom line.
HealthCare Business News spoke to Thomas Berryman, lead MR tech at Coon Memorial Hospital, to find out how the upgrade went and what advice he would offer to other rural providers considering a similar investment.
HCB News: Before installing your new scanner you had been treating your patients with a mobile MR unit. Why did you decide it was time for a change?
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Our imaging capabilities were limited to a mobile MR unit that was only on-site one or two days per week. As a result, we were starting to lose physician referrals not only because of limited access to an MR unit, but also because of poor imaging quality. We needed a solution that could meet the needs of both patients and providers, while staying within our budget.
As a result of installing Canon Medical’s Vantage Titan 1.5T MR, we were able to deliver higher quality images and perform new types of exams such as renal scans, brain mapping and carotid artery imaging, among others. We saw a 20 percent increase in physician referrals per month and our overall MR exams increased by more than 200 percent per month.
HCB News: Can you describe the selection process that led you to choosing the Vantage Titan 1.5T MR from Canon Medical Systems?
We needed to find a system that would improve the patient experience and enable us to expand the types of services that we needed to properly care for our community. We were impressed with Canon Medical’s ability to deliver a high level of imaging quality with large clinical field of view. Other features that attracted us to Canon Medical were the comfortable 71 cm bore, feet first exams, the Pianissimo noise reduction system and the ability to perform non-contrast imaging techniques that would ensure patient safety. In addition the Canon M-Power user interface simplifies exams and it has impressive post-processing tools.
We are now saving on average 15 to 20 minutes per exam. We were also impressed with Canon Medical’s ability to train our staff on the different ways to maximize the use of the system. In addition to providing hands-on instruction, the Vantage Titan 1.5T MR has easy-to-use features, such as the M-Power user interface, which can be customized for different users. Canon Medical offered to expedite the learning curve, which would enable our staff to dive in quickly and easily. Lastly we needed a solution where we wouldn’t have to make a big investment in building a traditional addition to the hospital. The Vantage Titan came housed within its own modular unit that could be attached to our facility quickly and easily.
HCB News: Did you already have space set aside for the new MR unit or was construction required?
New construction was not required given that the Vantage Titan 1.5T MR came with its own modular building. We simply had to prepare a space for it and do some basic prep so it could be attached to our facility and tied into our existing infrastructure.
HCB News: How long did it the entire installation process take?
The modular building that the Canon Medical system came in was attached to our existing structure in a matter of days.